Caramel Dutch apple pie has layers of delicious cinnamon and brown sugar apples. The oatmeal strudel crumb topping is the icing on the cake!
The best Dutch apple pie
New England is all about the fall season! Apple picking, pumpkin patches, spooky Halloweens in Salem, Ma… you name it!
I always look forward to picking fresh apples in the orchards and turning them into a piping hot pie. Dutch apple pie makes it’s appearance on my table every fall, and you’re about to find out why!
This caramel dutch apple pie is made with apples that are tossed in a buttery cinnamon brown sugar combination. The oatmeal strudel topping really brings this apple pie to a whole new level. The strudel itself could be it’s own dessert!
This pie just keeps getting better. Next, the strudel topping is layered with caramel drizzle as it soaks into all the little crevices and infuses in the pie. Oh! My! Gosh! It’s heavenly.
Dutch apple pie ingredients
- Apples- You can use a variety of apples off my apple recommendation list down below for a more intricate pie flavor.
- Lemon juice- Use a squeeze of lemon juice to keep the apple wedges from browning and to add a hint of acidity.
- Dark brown sugar- Brown sugar is delicious, but dark brown sugar is even deeper in flavor because it contains more molasses.
- Spices- Cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of clove give this pie the perfect fall flavor.
- All-purpose flour- A sprinkle of all-purpose flour helps absorb some of the liquid the apples will expel during the baking process so the pie crust won’t get too soggy.
- Butter- The apples are quickly sautèd in melted butter and butter is also used in the oatmeal strudel.
- Rolled oats- Bob’s Red Mill quick-cooking rolled oats are perfect for the strudel crumb topping.
- Pie crust- To make this recipe faster and easier, I recommend using a store-bought deep-dish pie crust. For a more refined flavor, you can make a homemade crust.
- Caramel sauce- Nothing beats homemade caramel sauce (although it can be difficult to make), but store-bought is a no-fail way of making sure you have caramel to drizzle on your pie!
Choose the right apples for apple pie
Depending on where you live, certain varieties of apples will be available to you. In the Adirondacks of New York, I used to apple pick at Saratoga Apple and they had all my favorite northeast varieties like Cortland, Honeycrisp, Jonamac, and Mutsu. Here is a list of common apples you can find in most well-stocked grocery stores:
- Honey crisp
- Golden delicious
- Granny Smith
Cook the apples first
Melt some butter in a large pan. Toss in the cinnamon and the brown sugar and let it sautè for a minute or two. It’s about to smell heavenly in your house.
Next, place the apple slices in the pan and stir them really well to make sure they are coated in the buttery cinnamon sugar. Sautè the apples for 5 minutes so they expel their juices in the pan.
Once you take the pan off the heat, you can sprinkle the flour into the pan while stirring to make sure there are no flour clumps. The flour is used to soak up any excess liquids the apples will expel so the bottom of the pie crust doesn’t get soggy. No on likes soggy pie crust.
Make it even easier and faster
While this pie is absolutely delicious with a butter, flaky homemade pie crust, I opted for a frozen store bought deep dish crust to save time. With three kids, time is very valuable and I don’t have all day to spend in my kitchen.
You can also save time by slicing the apples before hand. The apples need to be peeled and sliced thin, which takes a little but of work. If you would like, you can do this a day before you bake the pie. Once the apples are sliced, place them in a bowl and toss the apples with lemon juice from half a lemon. The lemon juice will prevent the apples from browning in the fridge. Cover the apples up with plastic wrap and place them in the fridge until you are ready to get to baking!
How to make caramel Dutch apple pie
- Sautè the apples. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon to the pan and allow them to cook for a minute. Add the apple slices to the pan and stir them to coat them in the buttery sugar. Sautè the apples for 5 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle the flour over the apples while you stir, making sure the smooth any flour clumps.
- Make the oatmeal strudel. Combine room temperature butter, oatmeal, all purpose flour, and brown sugar in a bowl. Stir until the strudel forms a ball.
- Bake the pie. Read the pie crust instructions. Some brands you have to blind bake first, other you can toss the apple pie filling into the frozen pie crust and bake. Place the apple mixture into the pie crust and bake the apple pie at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes. Once the pie is done cooking, drizzle it with caramel sauce and serve!
How is Dutch apple pie different from all other apple pies?
A Dutch apple pie is unique and different from a classic apple pie because the Dutch pie has a delicious strudel crumb topping that is made from butter, sugar, and all purpose flour.
The Dutch apple pie has quite an extensive history, dating back to as early as 1514 in the cookbook called Notabel Boecxken van Cokeryen.
The eariest recorded Dutch apple pie was made with sour apples that were finely chopped. The pie was topped with a thick pastry which part of it was removed after it was done baking. The remaining pastry and “sugar cookies” were then mixed in with the apple mixture (which was spiced with cinnamon and sugar). The sugar cookies were sweetened with honey and spice with warming flavors like cardamom, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
How to store it
Caramel Dutch apple pie will stay good in the fridge for 2 days. If you plan on having leftovers, drizzle the caramel on individual slices rather than the whole pie so the caramel does not make the strudel soggy.
Place plastic wrap over the pie dish and store in the fridge until you are ready to eat. You can certainly enjoy cold apple pie or you can warm it up in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes.
You can also reheat the pie in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. This method will better reserve the flavor and texture while keeping the strudel crunchy.
More dessert recipes
- This easy Italian olive oil cake is incredibly tender and moist with a slightly sweet citrus flavor. This luxurious cake has a soft crumb and loads of savory flavor.
- Italian orange pistachio biscotti cookies are crunchy on the outside with a softer inside and practically melt in your mouth when they are dipped in your morning coffee!
- Authentic key lime pie is a recipe straight from the Florida Keys! The key lime base is topped with delicious meringue and uses easy to find ingredients!
- Fresh berry pavlova is an easy to make New Zealand dessert that has a crisp outside and a marshmallowy inside. This dessert can be topped with fresh berries, honey, whipped cream, and more!
- This easy, creamy cake batter ice cream is prepared in minutes and is the perfect frozen summertime treat!
Caramel Dutch Apple Pie
- 1 frozen deep dish pie crust
- 4 tbsp salted butter
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 5 cups apples peeled and sliced to 1/4" thickness
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 5 tbsp salted butter room temperature
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats
- caramel sauce for drizzling
- pinch of cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- Make the oatmeal strudel. Combine the butter, rolled oats, brown sugar, and flour in a bowl. Use a fork to smash the butter and combine the ingredients. Stir until the strudel begins to form into a ball.
- Cook the apples. Melt the butter in a large pan, slightly browning the butter. Add the cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, cloves, and brown sugar to the butter and sautè the spices for 1 minute. Add the peeled and sliced apples and vanilla extract to the pan and sautè them for 5 minutes. Sift the flour slowly while stirring to incorporate. The apple pie filling should be slightly thick, not soupy.
- Assemble the pie. Read the frozen pie package instructions and bake accordingly. Some pie crusts do not need to be blind baked while others do. Place the apple slices in the pie crust, then crumble the strudel on top so it covers the whole pie.
- Bake the pie. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the apple pie for 45-55 minutes until the strudel is golden brown and crunchy. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool.
- Drizzle with caramel and serve. Use a spoon to drizzle the caramel over the strudel topping. Slice the apple pie and serve. Mangia!
Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.
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